University of Twente Student Theses


Constructing Climate Emotions : An Interview-Based Exploration with Climate Fiction Readers

Albert, A. N. (2022) Constructing Climate Emotions : An Interview-Based Exploration with Climate Fiction Readers.

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Abstract:Climate fiction, as a literary genre discussing anthropogenic climate change, has been emerging progressively. These narratives could serve a larger purpose for lay people to make sense of climate change and help them potentially cope with climate anxiety. However, empirical research on how readers of climate fiction evaluate their reading experiences, also on an emotional level, is scarce. Thus, this paper investigated how climate fiction readers discuss climate emotions. A categorical approach inspired by thematic analysis was administered to twelve transcripts resulting from interviews conducted as a group effort of students. Subsequently, two main categories were identified: Emotions in the context of reading climate fiction and climate anxiety as a distinctive emotion. The first category can be subdivided into three reading stages: interviewees experience emotions before, during and after reading climate fiction. The second category outlined different causes of climate anxiety, namely climate change but also climate fiction. Although interviewees discussed temporary climate anxiety during reading climate fiction, the overall reading experience appeared to be largely positive for the readers, more so than reported in previous studies. Concludingly, this study shows how climate fiction is reported to help its readers to connect to climate change emotionally. Moreover, concrete suggestions for other areas of expertise about the possibilities of climate fiction are made.
Item Type:Essay (Master)
Faculty:BMS: Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences
Subject:43 environmental science, 70 social sciences in general, 71 sociology, 73 cultural anthropology, 77 psychology
Programme:Psychology MSc (66604)
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